French was the first language I ever learnt outside of my native tongue. In UK schools, there’s generally the option to learn French, German, and sometimes Spanish; my school didn’t offer Spanish, so I ended up sticking with French. I did learn German for a few years too but never liked it much.
After school, I continued studying French for about two years before I got completely overwhelmed by the pressure of exams and dramatically quit a week before them. There were tears. Not my proudest moment. That put a stopper in my urge to learn languages for years, because I’m nothing if not capable of holding a grudge against myself.
Though I’ve tried a few times over the years to get back into it, it wasn’t until I finished my Master’s last year that I managed to get back into it properly. With all this time open to me (a lie; I was working full time, but it sure felt like I had bundles of it available) along with renewed academic energy, I turned to French.
I booked myself a lesson on italki and that was that. For over a year, I’ve been working on my French almost every day. Since I started tracking my language studies on 1st July 2019, I’ve spent 166 hours actively studying French, and many more passively doing so (through music etc).
I’m not fluent by any means. I’m terrible at learning vocabulary, though I’m getting better. Over the last few weeks I’ve also taken up speaking with a Quebecois person after deciding I’d really better know that dialect since I live in Canada.
Another time I’ll talk about the apps and books and resources I use for French, but until then, this is a good overview of my journey.
Are you learning French (or any other language)? How did you come to do so?